Nov 28

Being a Nazi is not normal.

Or at least it wasn’t back in the day. What day? How about 1981? That’s when Henry Walton Jones Jr. exploded their heads and melted their faces.

Close your eyes Marion, Clio rears. They say every time a Nazi dies an angel gets it’s wings. It’s really not at all hard to understand, they are the definition of genocide (though the highest crime according to Robert H. Jackson was aggressive war).

Let’s remember what happened. They systemically and industrially murdered well over 6 Million Jews and millions of others for the “crime” of being other. Sick people, poor people, Communists, Slavs, Roma. I don’t mean by that statement to diminish the special animus they had for Jews, simply to illustrate that their hatred was boundless and unlimited.

But the trains ran on time.

For anyone to express the slightest sympathy for these demons in human form is to embrace the mark of Cain, the brother killer (notably associated with dark skin color by the way for the biblically inclined).

Indeed much of popular culture is focused around how much we despise Nazis. Take this example from the Blues Brothers (commonly considered a light hearted comedy)-

Whoa. Just exactly when did we do that back flip?

The New York Times just taught us how not to profile a Nazi sympathizer
by Jeremy Binckes, Salon
2017-11-27

When writing stories about Nazis, there are a few questions that are worth asking. For example, what is it that makes someone want to follow an ideology that led to the death of millions of people in Europe? Why is there hate? Does the subject realize that by following an arbitrary list of physical and genetic characteristics, one can easily possess one that could cause them to become the pariah in a genocidal and fascistic mindset? Should Americans punch them?

The piece shouldn’t, on the other hand, be spending more time on how Nazis are just like us, when you think about it.

Which piece? Well, this one-

A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland
By RICHARD FAUSSET, The New York Times
NOV. 25, 2017

Tony and Maria Hovater were married this fall. They registered at Target. On their list was a muffin pan, a four-drawer dresser and a pineapple slicer.

Ms. Hovater, 25, was worried about Antifa bashing up the ceremony. Weddings are hard enough to plan for when your fiancé is not an avowed white nationalist.

But Mr. Hovater, in the days leading up to the wedding, was somewhat less anxious. There are times when it can feel toxic to openly identify as a far-right extremist in the Ohio of 2017. But not always. He said the election of President Trump helped open a space for people like him, demonstrating that it is not the end of the world to be attacked as the bigot he surely is: “You can just say, ‘Yeah, so?’ And move on.”

It was a weeknight at Applebee’s in Huber Heights, a suburb of Dayton, a few weeks before the wedding. The couple, who live in nearby New Carlisle, were shoulder to shoulder at a table, young and in love. He was in a plain T-shirt, she in a sleeveless jean jacket. She ordered the boneless wings. Her parents had met him, she said, and approved of the match. The wedding would be small. Some of her best friends were going to be there. “A lot of girls are not really into politics,” she said.

In Ohio, amid the row crops and rolling hills, the Olive Gardens and Steak ’n Shakes, Mr. Hovater’s presence can make hardly a ripple. He is the Nazi sympathizer next door, polite and low-key at a time the old boundaries of accepted political activity can seem alarmingly in flux. Most Americans would be disgusted and baffled by his casually approving remarks about Hitler, disdain for democracy and belief that the races are better off separate. But his tattoos are innocuous pop-culture references: a slice of cherry pie adorns one arm, a homage to the TV show “Twin Peaks.” He says he prefers to spread the gospel of white nationalism with satire. He is a big “Seinfeld” fan.

If the Charlottesville rally came as a shock, with hundreds of white Americans marching in support of ideologies many have long considered too vile, dangerous or stupid to enter the political mainstream, it obscured the fact that some in the small, loosely defined alt-right movement are hoping to make those ideas seem less than shocking for the “normies,” or normal people, that its sympathizers have tended to mock online.

And to go from mocking to wooing, the movement will be looking to make use of people like the Hovaters and their trappings of normie life — their fondness for National Public Radio, their four cats, their bridal registry.

“We need to have more families. We need to be able to just be normal,” said Matthew Heimbach, the leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party, in a podcast conversation with Mr. Hovater. Why, he asked self-mockingly, were so many followers “abnormal”?

Mr. Hovater replied: “I mean honestly, it takes people with, like, sort of an odd view of life, at first, to come this way. Because most people are pacified really easy, you know. Like, here’s some money, here’s a nice TV, go watch your sports, you know?”

He added: “The fact that we’re seeing more and more normal people come is because things have gotten so bad. And if they keep getting worse, we’ll keep getting more, just, normal people.”

“I don’t want you to think I’m some ‘edgy’ Republican,” he says, while flatly denouncing the concept of democracy.

“I don’t even think those things should be ‘edgy,’” he says, while defending his assertion that Jews run the worlds of finance and the media, and “appear to be working more in line with their own interests than everybody else’s.”

After he attended the Charlottesville rally, in which a white nationalist plowed his car into a group of left-wing protesters, killing one of them, Mr. Hovater wrote that he was proud of the comrades who joined him there: “We made history. Hail victory.”

In German, “Hail victory” is “Sieg heil.”

Amazing. They don’t look like Nazis. They love their dogs (or cats) until they put them and their children down in a Götterdämmerung of defeat (see Goebbels).

It’s all about how the White Race can survive in the face of the Mudbloods says Voldemort.

And a pineapple slicer? Please. I’m tempted to send them one because it’s a useless piece of crap.

Anyway it was followed shortly by this one by the same author that doesn’t help much

I Interviewed a White Nationalist and Fascist. What Was I Left With?
By RICHARD FAUSSET, The New York Times
NOV. 25, 2017

“What Makes a Man Start Fires?”

To me, that question embodies what good journalism should strive for, as well as the limits of the enterprise. Sometimes all we can bring you is the words of the police spokesman, the suspect’s picture from a high school yearbook, the acrid stench of the burned woods.

Sometimes a soul, and its shape, remain obscure to both writer and reader.

I beat myself up about all of this for a while, until I decided that the unfilled hole would have to serve as both feature and defect. What I had were quotidian details, though to be honest, I’m not even sure what these add up to. Like other committed extremists I have known, Mr. Hovater had little time for a life beyond his full-time job and his line of activism. When he is not doing those things, he likes to be at home with his girlfriend (now his wife) and their cats.

Mr. Hovater was exceedingly candid with me — often shockingly so — but it seems as though his worldview was largely formed by the same recombinant stuff that influences our mainstream politics. There were exceptions, of course: I saw, on his bookshelf, two volumes of Helena Blavatsky’s “The Secret Doctrine,” 19th-century work of esoteric spiritualism whose anti-Semitism influenced Nazi thinking.

But even if I had called Mr. Hovater yet again — even if we had discussed Blavatsky at length, the way we did his ideas about the Federal Reserve Bank — I’m not sure it would have answered the question.

What makes a man start fires?

Gee. All you got was this I heart Hitler T-Shirt? Sucks to be you I guess.

“The National Editor of The New York Times” (I put that in quotes so you understand just how egotistical and self-important he is) thinks this a sufficient “apology” (I put that in quotes because it’s ironic)-

Readers Accuse Us of Normalizing a Nazi Sympathizer; We Respond
By MARC LACEY, The New York Times
NOV. 26, 2017

We assigned Richard Fausset, one of our smartest thinkers and best writers, to profile one of the far-right foot soldiers at the rally. We ended up settling on Mr. Hovater, who, it turned out, was a few years older than another Ohio man, James Alex Fields Jr., who was charged with murder after the authorities said he drove his car into a crowd of protesters, killing Ms. Heyer.

Our reporter went to Ohio to spend time with Mr. Hovater and submitted several drafts and updates in between assignments that included Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Roy Moore campaign in Alabama. The story finally ran online Saturday.

Whatever our goal, a lot of readers found the story offensive, with many seizing on the idea we were normalizing neo-Nazi views and behavior.

Our reporter and his editors agonized over the tone and content of the article. The point of the story was not to normalize anything but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think.

We described Mr. Hovater as a bigot, a Nazi sympathizer who posted images on Facebook of a Nazi-like America full of happy white people and swastikas everywhere.

We understand that some readers wanted more pushback, and we hear that loud and clear.

I find myself forced to stop right here and say “bigot”? That word appears exactly once. Anti-semite and racist are not used at all. Indeed this is what The New York Times has to say-

“There were mixed-race couples at the wedding. Mr. Hovater said he was fine with it.”

I have sooo many Black and Jewish friends.

“You know who had nice manners?” Bess Kalb, a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live, said on Twitter. “The Nazi who shaved my uncle Willie’s head before escorting him into a cement chamber where he locked eyes with children as their lungs filled with poison and they suffocated to death in agony. Too much? Exactly. That’s how you write about Nazis.”

Others urged us to focus our journalism less on those pushing hate and more on those on the receiving end of that hate. “Instead of long, glowing profiles of Nazis/White nationalists, why don’t we profile the victims of their ideologies?” asked Karen Attiah, an editor at The Washington Post. “Why not a piece about the mother of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in Charlottesville? Follow-ups on those who were injured? Or how PoC are coping?”

We regret the degree to which the piece offended so many readers. We recognize that people can disagree on how best to tell a disagreeable story. What we think is indisputable, though, is the need to shed more light, not less, on the most extreme corners of American life and the people who inhabit them. That’s what the story, however imperfectly, tried to do.

“We regret the degree to which the piece offended so many readers.” That’s not an apology, that’s an insult.

* * * * *

That’s what Kurt Vonnegut used to call a cat’s ass trophy. He actually factually fought Nazis and was captured and survived the bombing of Dresden. I don’t condone it, it’s just an example of what we did to Nazis (we also firebombed Tokyo causing more deaths than Fat Man and Little Boy combined).

Now, because our Government suppressed the truth about the Shoah I can’t claim they were motivating influences of the average G.I. Joe in what is called the “good” war, but it sure pissed off a lot of people afterward and rightly so. The Totenkopfverbände would sort people into two lines, those they would kill instantly (women and children) and those they would work to death. Those marked for extermination were stripped naked so they couldn’t hide any valuables and crammed into rooms where they were poisoned with Cyanide, hundreds at a time. The ones selected for work (I won’t call them lucky) unpacked the dead bodies and checked for gold fillings before carting them off to burn in furnaces.

“Very fine people.” But then again he also supports pedophiles.

Let me warn you in advance that while I’m a good natured and mellow guy for the most part (despite my detractors) there are bright lines.

I hate Illinois Nazis.